Cookie Cutter Snoozefest

For the most part I have focused my attention on the fad candidates running for the Republican presidential nominee due to the fact that I cannot get enough of the radicalism that keeps coming out of their mouths and how adorable and passionate Ron Paul is, but since it seems like Mitt Romney is not going away any time soon I have decided to do a little research about him and figure out the factual basis for why I don’t like him instead of casting him aside due to the fact that he is freakishly boring. I understand he is trying to keep his image squeaky clean in preparation to take on the alleged dirt throwing Obama campaign in the general election, but when all of his opponents are pretty much clinically insane it is pretty hard to keep any real attention on trying to remember his campaign positions. That or he flip-flops so much there is no way to tell what he currently is in favor of. None the less the time has come for me to  learn about this extremely dull individual so that I can understand what he is really all about.

One of the most important aspects of a politician’s campaign is their stance on taxes. Whether a person agrees with where their money is going or not, it is important to understand how much of it will be taken to keep the government running. Romney plans to keep the income tax at its current level and eliminate the death tax as well as “taxes for taxpayers with AGI below $200,000 on interest, dividends, and capital gains”. In comparison to Paul’s desire to eliminate the income tax all together, which is pretty unrealistic at a time when the United States debt is so extreme, Romney seems to understand that no matter how limited you want government to be, taxes are always going to be necessary part of life as at United States citizen. Sadly this understanding does not extend to corporate taxes. Based on the past behavior of many powerful companies, lowering this tax will not lead to more revenue being used to hire new workers or give existing employees higher pay checks. According to Milwaukee Magazine, national CEOs paychecks are 14.6 times higher than they were in 1985 while national workers only saw their income multiple by 2.4 in the same time period. Apparently Romney has not seen this data because he continues to believe that lowering corporate taxes by 10% is just what companies need to spur them into a hiring overload. If this were the case all of the corporations that have figured out how to escape the current 35% tax entirely would have made a dent in unemployment already. Before our government can even consider lowering the corporate tax they need to make it a functional, serious system so that we can see how it is actually supposed to function and then assess if cuts would make corporations more beneficial to the entire population.

Another corporate-world concern that Romney’s past brings to the table is the limited success of some of his work for Bain Capitol. While he was not afraid to take risks when he invested in start-up companies, hoping they would take off and eventually make Bain Capitol loads of money, some of his private-equity investments were not as successful and resulted in bankruptcies and job losses. The United States needs a president who can not only save our country from our present economic crisis, but also develop a system that will ensure infinite stability in the United States. Short-term positive changes will make Romney look like the absolute cure for the country’s problems in the eyes of many citizens, but if his programs and solutions cannot withstand the test of time it may create more problems for future generations especially if long-term effects are not analyzed and considered.

Due to the current economic crisis in the United States and around the globe it may seem necessary to elect an experienced businessman to lead the country out of these dark times, but voters cannot forget about the importance of foreign policy experience or at least a realistic understanding of world relations. Upcoming foreign policy decisions will impact global interest and attitude towards nuclear weapons as well as dictate how much money will continue to be taken away from education and other social programs. Instead of reevaluating where the defense budget is being spent, Romney has simply criticized Obama’s budget cuts and wants to increase Navy ship building and reinstate cuts to missile defense in order to defend against nuclear attacks on the United States. This seems like all of the money he plans to save by cutting Obama’s regulations would then be spent on defense spending thus not really lowering government spending. Romney also believes that military action is an option in Iran, which actually would create a much more dangerous situation. If Iran thinks that the United States is a military threat to them they will put more energy into protecting their nation. The United States needs a less attack focused president who does not present the government as a global policing nation that will try to regulate the actions of independent countries.

Despite his altered positions on issues like the use of economic stimulus packages, abortion and health care or the fact that Rick Santorum actually gave Romney a run for his money when he came in second only by 8 votes in the Iowa Caucus last week, as expected Romney finished strong in New Hampshire and took the election 16 points ahead of Ron Paul. He also has received endorsements from John McCain, Chris Christie, Bob Dole and the Governor of South Carolina which is the type of big name support a candidate typically needs to move on to the general election. This seems like one of those walks like a politician, talks like a politician, looks like a politician, must be a qualified politician moment, but he may not have the personal strength or strong character to be the leader of the United States. It is not just the fact that he seems a little more modest when it comes to firmly presenting his stance on the issues and what he will actually do as president when compared to the energetic statements coming from Ron Paul during debates and on the campaign trail. Romney simply lacks the charisma needed to draw voters in and really want to succeed like Paul’s young supporters display in a way that resembles the popularity Obama had in 2008.

As I said before, if you can’t engage with his speeches enough to learn his stance on the issues you will be less likely to research him and feel like he has a plan of attack which the United States so badly needs. In my opinion he seems like another pawn going to the White House to further the status quo that needs to be shaken up, reevaluated and restructured with a fresh, possibly radical mind-set — but I always take a liking to someone with a little spunk and craziness and cannot stand fake squares who are afraid of taking a stance and be their own person. He may be getting the votes because most people believe that he is more likely to beat Obama in the general election, but replacing Obama is not the only important quality to look for in a candidate.  The next president of the United States needs to be ready to look at real solutions no matter how tough they maybe. Who that will be or what the future holds for the United States is completely unknown….and I guess that is part of the reason I am so enthralled in the entire process.

Posted in Celia, News, Opinion/Response, Politics, Republican Primary, Washington D.C. | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Feeling the last minute hype

Even though I have fallen in love with Ron Paul, I never expected him to go far in the 2012 race and he still may not, we have to wait until tonight…but there is another another politician I thought would ABSOLUTELY NEVER see the true spotlight and that is Rick Santorum. Not only has this new political push helped him escape the reputation ruining Google bomb that he suffered after comparing “gay sex to pedophilia and bestiality”, but since Iowa is such a religious and actually the better word is evangelical state, Santorum may stand a chance to finish in the top three in the caucus today and take another step into the national spotlight. That, to me, is very scary. Yes I do not agree with most Republicans on their views related to social issues like gay marriage and abortion, but I think that Santorum is far too extreme to become president and push his beliefs on a diverse nation of citizens free to believe in whatever they would like due to the First Amendment.

In fact, Santorum is so pro-family that his plan for economy revolves around it. How is that even relevant? I have no idea. Even if you are single and have no children I am pretty sure you can still participate in the economy by holding a job, purchasing commodities or even hiring other citizens. I do understand that tripling the personal deduction per child for each family would lessen the burden families face, but I worry that for Santorum a family is defined as a mother, a father and children, not single-parent homes or same-sex families which leaves a lot of people out of this tax cut. That would continue the class welfare system that Santorum continually criticizes Obama for. Also, eliminating spending for Planned Parenthood and related services is only going to create a larger family crisis with women across the nation unable to seek out family planning care WHICH IS NOT JUST ABORTIONS this includes personal health safety like STD testing, cancer screening, care and prevention as well as free or discounted contraceptives so that they do not become an inactive member of society because they become pregnant and have to care for a child. How politicians can lump all these services with abortion is beyond me. Purifying and promoting the “family system” is not the way to fix our economy.

Another danger of putting Santorum in the White House is his stance on Iran. Basically he is going to tell them game on and start teaming up with Israel to take down Iran’s nuclear “threat”. First of all, messing around with Iran is basically the most irresponsible thing that we could do and I believe that it will just give them more reason to use whatever weapons they have against us and continue building more to defend themselves. If we would just go home already and take care of our education, health care and above all economy we may find that we have a lot fewer enemies in the world. Also, one of Santortum’s main points for advocating acting in Iran is to “bring greater attention to human rights violations of the Iranian regime against democracy protestors and minority religious groups”. Well, I would have to say that there are places in the world with much greater need for attention related to human rights violations and if we are going to start playing this game again we need to act in North Korea and Syria. Essentially those actions would start-up just as big of a fuss with Iran, but if we are really making our decisions based on human rights violations, Syria and North Korea have to come first.

Sometimes I can find issues that I can relate to with politicians, no matter how conservative they maybe, but Santorum is just not that politican. I am very excited to watch the results from the caucus come in tonight as well as try to speculate what they mean for the future of the GOP race for nominee. While an overly conservative politician may not be able to beat Obama in November, I do believe that we need to understand what the implications of putting someone in office that is so religiously focused in a free country with separation of church and state means for our government and future as an entire body of united states. Not to be super mean or take this discussion down a notch, but would you want to support someone that the Duggar family from 19 kids and counting want to vote for simply because Jesus is not available to run for president right now?? While I am sure some of you do feel that way, I will never be that person so I am sorry…Santorum needs to go home and chill out with his seven children and wife.

Posted in Celia, News, Opinion/Response, Politics, Religion, Republican Primary, Washington D.C. | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You say intelligent politicians, I say old, silly, power-hungry weirdos

While I have been away from the website for quite sometime, I have not lost my intense intrigue for the world around me. A few of my latest obsessions are Syria, North Korea, Erin Burnett Out Front, the Green Bay Packers and last but not least the race to be the Republican nominee for president of the United States and the daily entertainment it has been producing. As the first election, or in this case caucus, results come in, I have decided to try to write about a few of the candidates. Sadly I missed the boat on Herman Cain, but for some of the most hilarious tributes check out the hilarious bad lip-reading video or this actual joke of a politician in action right here in Milwaukee (ignore any of the extra commentary….I chose this out of ease of finding the clip I wanted). If you don’t have too much “twirling around in your head” wondering who told Cain that politics was a field he would succeed in after watching those…we can get to another gem in the race that I have really come to enjoy.

With a Nader-esk stamina, Ron Paul’s work has finally began to pay off and I cannot wait to watch the results from the Iowa caucuses to come in because of him. His bid for the presidency started in 1988 when he was the nominee for the Libertarian party, but he moved to the more “main-stream” field to try his hand with the Republican party in 2008. While the 2012 race has taken yet another turn, this time towards Rick Santorum, Paul still has made his mark this time around and much more so than before. Due to the intensity of his supporters, they have been able to get the word out about him and push hard to get the Paul vote to the polls on election day. He is a strict Constitutionalist and tends to get a little fired up when the government wants to tell the American people what to do.

Despite my love for this little man, there are things about him that deep down in my heart I would not be comfortable with him being president. I cannot support his views on abortion, totally pro-life because basically the fetus has the freedom to life and no one, even their mothers, can take that away from them. I could never have a president that pushed for the overturn of Roe v Wade and legally defined life as the moment of conception because that limits so many women in their choices to succeed in life if something terrible like incest or rape were to happen to them, or if they were even to come into the situation that their birth control failed. Women need the freedom to be able to continue living a productive life and not be held back by their child they were not ready for.

Additionally I am against his stance on education because he is a firm believer in homeschooling. I do know that there they are some great homeschooling programs if they are done right and stereotypically we think of the ideal home-schooled kid as smarter just less social than the normal child. However, I believe that religion can insert itself into the system far too much and change that child’s viewpoint on the world to the degree that they do not understand factual information that deters them from total success in an ever globally connected and changing world. It can also make them intolerant and scared of the world around them. Yes our education system is screwed up beyond believe, but I do know things like charter schools or simply redistribution of funding, weeding out bad teachers and restructuring teachers unions can change a lot too. Maybe we need to combine these ideas in a compromise, but there definitely needs to be just as much structure in a homeschooling program as there does in any other education system, including during the reformation of the public school system, in order to produce productive global citizens.

What I do agree with Ron Paul on is foreign policy, one of my biggest concerns for our country and I believe that it can be our key to saving our economy which in turn would save our education and health care systems. Since our military is in so many countries doing who knows what, Ron Paul believes that we need to bring these nation building troops home so that we can really focus on rebuilding our own nation and stop spending hard-earned tax-payer dollars on these type of missions that are essentially meant for controlling the world and taking all of the resources away from other countries. While I know that this plan is extremely hard to accomplish and could create a huge global chaos once we have no presence in places that have felt us there for so long and are now free to express the anger we have caused in them, I do think that for the sake of all United States citizens, the issue of foreign policy needs to be at the forefront and not related to securing our borders or “fixing and securing” the Middle East . Although I do realize that Paul wants to secure our borders, but I also think that he will not build a double wall or electric fence like some of his competitors would like to do.

Finally, because I know this post could go on forever and ever and I am trying not to turn this in to a total in-depth review essay on one candidate because you can do your own research , I guess I just have to say that while this man has some very great ideas that I share about foreign policy as a major player in fixing our economy, the concept of true, pure personal freedom and the fact that I love to look at and watch him, I cannot truly support him after looking over his comprehensive “Plan to Restore America“. Cutting the energy and education departments will only hurt future generations even more. We may have to restructure these departments, but we cannot fully eliminate them unless we want to harm our children. Also, tapping into all of our oil on our own soil is not the answer either. Once we are out of oil then we are OUT OF OIL!!! Using it to make ethanol is not an answer either, but cutting the energy department so that there are fewer restrictions on energy producers and they can operate in a free market system is not a fool-proof idea that will fix anything long-term. There will be a quick fix and then WE WILL BE OUT OF OIL. Problematic indeed. Removing the federal gas tax would be a great move for average consumers, but this cannot be removed on companies that are using gasoline to produce unnecessary products like plastic or over use gasoline to be made like ethanol otherwise the government is just giving big business an even higher tax break which they do not deserve.

I want to keep watching this man in action since he finally is taking center stage, but the more and more I read and write about him, I know that I cannot let his cute leprechaun vibe get into my heart. I am still deeply undecided about Obama and I know I can never be a Republican, so all my research for the upcoming blogs will have to help me decide I guess. There is still so much to come in this election season and I am extremely excited to watch it all unfold. Well…..hopefully everyone has a great first day of ELECTION SEASON 2012!!! It is bound to be GREAT!!!!!

Posted in Celia, Opinion/Response, Politics, Republican Primary, Washington D.C. | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Is it time to go home yet?

While reading the weekly notes for my seminar in media communication and society: war news, entertainment and persuasion, I came across an alarming fact and remedy for all of our nation’s economical problems our politicians seem to be having such trouble with: extremely excessive military spending. I know, I know, you have heard this solution a million times before, but this is not your normal Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, War on Terror spending I am talking about. The United States is involved in almost 100 countries and we are not swinging by to help jump start an industrial revolution or drop off some of our excess processed food. This is full on military involvement I am talking about and it is the catalyst for instability and unrest.

If you were to ask the average United States citizen to name the countries that our military is actively operating in their answers would probably include Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya and possibly Somalia. This lack of knowledge is exactly what allows the government to justify using 25% of the federal budget on defense spending because if the American people think that their tax dollars are going solely to conflicts that are in our best interest to continue fighting in then they will have less of an issue with only receiving 3% of the budget for education costs. I am not sure what is going on in Peru, Madagascar, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Barbados or Paraguay just to name a few of the 76 new countries troops are now active in, but I sure don’t feel like trading in the future of our nation’s children so that we can scope out possible terrorists in small impoverished tropical islands.

This was in 2002 and the numbers have only increased since then.

Compared to George W. Bush and his administration, Obama seemed like a much more peaceful president that was interested in reducing troop numbers abroad, but it appears that is not the case. Doubling Bush’s numbers, U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye said that involvement may reach 120 countries by the end of the year. Not only is our international military involvement increasing, but the type of warfare is becoming more controversial thanks to technological developments. Obama is authorizing the use of drone attacks more and more frequently and the recent drone killing of al-Qaida cleric Anwar al-Awlaki proved that he believes that Constitutional right to due process does not apply and he can overlook things like that according to “the September 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act, which empowered the president to “all necessary and appropriate force” against nations, organizations or persons who planned, committed or aided the Sept. 11 attacks.”.

Watch out possible terrorists! These unmanned killing robots are coming to get you!

Not only are we occupying an extravagant amount of countries, but also the State Department’s and Pentagon’s International Military Education and Training program has trained over 7,000 locals in the ways of the United States military so that they can fight potential terrorists too. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an incredibly stupid plan to me. We have already seen entire countries of young, disgruntled citizens incite civil wars against their oppressive leaders or corrupt governments, imagine how escalated revolutions will be when most of the rebels attended military training camp before they start to fight.

This colossal waste of money is not even creating positive change in the world order. Most of our involvement is being used against the people who risk their lives for a chance at change and freedom as U.S military forces fight with the opposed government helping slaughter their citizens. At a time when our economy is failing, students are ranked “14th out of 34 OECD countries for reading skills, 17th for science and a below-average 25th for mathematics.” and the highest number of households ever recorded are food insecure I think it is time for a change of focus and our troops to head home to their families so that we can all work together to rebuild the strong United States that we all have heard so much about.

Posted in Celia, Middle East, North Africa, Opinion/Response, Political Unrest, Washington D.C., World War III, WTF | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Summerfest

Nice weather, the beach, birthdays, partying, music and dancing are among the many things keeping us from being productive in the “work” sense lately, but in the last few weeks live music has stolen our attention and sparked our interest in stepping out into the community and getting down with all the other amazing people that fill Milwaukee in the summer time. Jazz in the Park, karaoke, The Jazz Estate, and Brady St all provide a fantastic environment to spend your never ending summer nights, but so far we have had the most interesting and exciting experience at Summerfest.

For those of you that don’t know, Summerfest is the world’s largest music festival and takes place every year in Milwaukee for about a week and a half. What makes it so great is that hundreds of bands play during this time for a very low price, a three day pass is only 33 dollars, including many popular artists who you would have to buy an expensive main stage ticket to see normally.

Girl Talk was one of the artists we went to see basically just because we knew it would be an amazing dance party, but we never thought that it would be seriously one of the best times ever. Through a little bit of luck and incredibly good timing we were able to get into the group of people pulled in from the crowd before the show to dance on stage. Not only did this save us from the sweltering crowd packed full of high school kids drunk for the first time, but it also gave us an incredible vantage point and a feel for what it would be like to actually be a performing artists. All in all, dream experience and impossible to forget.

While we are still going to Florence and the Machine, Edward Sharp,  and Undercover Organism in the next few days and even more craziness is likely to happen, this probably will be the most memorable, insane hour and a half we will have at Summerfest and possibly the entire summer…….so check out the videos we have found of it so far 🙂 hopefully there will be more to come, but here are the ones that are out there so far.

 

Posted in Entertainment, Partying | Leave a comment

Locust Street Festival

After a full week of more rainy cold weather that prevented us from going to Jazz in the Park on Thursday and made the turn out at Pridefest on Friday not as absolutely fantastic as it could have been Milwaukee was finally blessed enough to be reminded what the sun looks like on Sunday, which was phenomenal because it just so happened there was one more festival to wrap up the weekend and that was Locust Street Festival. Many people think that Riverwest is a incredibly sketchy place where you will most definitely get mugged if you dare to enter its streets alone, this however is NOT the case….at least anymore. I remember driving through the neighborhood on my way to and from UWM with my parents freshmen year thinking what a ghetto place it was, but in my opinion the place has turned around 180 degrees and now is building itself up to be a community based on trust and creating a great friendly place to live. There is a co-op grocery store and bar, community information offices, many interesting local bars and coffee shops to explore and thousands of great interesting people who you should totally try and meet that inhabit the never dull area. Not to mention they know how to party and have a BOMB time over there and here are few images and videos from the SUPER fun day I was able to enjoy with some friends and tons of other residents getting down on Locust Street yesterday afternoon.

Another look at the street

Welcome to Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Critical sales booths for a RW festival -- Frog and Dragon figurines

Just a small look at the crowd on the street

Posted in Celia, Entertainment, Partying, Wisconsin | Leave a comment

Cutting America’s Fat

There has been quite a heated discussion taking place in Washington D.C and across the country for a while now regarding the budget and government spending which is causing members of both parties to bicker, hold late night meetings and act like stubborn little children while they fight for their beliefs. Many programs have already been cut by state level lawmakers, but at the national level there is a larger battle being fought. No one can seem to draw up a compromise which would leave both sides feeling content with the areas which will face budget cuts and those that remain funded by citizen tax dollars, but I believe that there may actually be one area that could use reevaluation and is being overlooked.

With so many other issues on the table, continuous budget meetings seem to be a bit redundant and time consuming

With so many other issues on the table, continuous budget meetings seem to be a bit redundant and time consuming

Much of the debate over budget cuts has to do with cutting large liberal spending like Obamacare, Planned Parenthood and union formation or conservative supported tax breaks for corporations while popular programs like welfare, WIC, and other social support programs like that are being continuously abused and enjoyed by some citizens that do not deserve access to these benefits.

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand there are MANY circumstances where government fiscal support is needed to get people on their feet after illness, losing a spouse or career or help them not straight up die. For example accidental teenage moms who have enough aspiration to get off welfare and become more than just another statistic deserve a chance at a better life through these programs,

Thanks 16 & Prego for showing viewers where their tax dollars go to be wasted

but I also know that it is quite easy to apply for these programs and receive benefits when you are not living in the most dire situations you so honestly hope to get yourself out if its the last thing you do in your life.

Keeping the requirements so loose for these social programs only teaches people that no matter what they will always be taken care of and be able to mooch off the government if they don’t feel like being the best and most productive member of society they can be. Additionally the adults who live off of these programs with no guilt are teaching their children that success is not really in the cards for them and having no aspirations is not the end of the world because not everyone is going to make it.

Maybe Lil Wayne should start pushing the nerd look to motivate the youth

Case in point a child in a Milwaukee Public School 5th grade class could not spell the words teacher and world when she made her student teacher a going away card and lots of college bound seniors are not able to pass the entrance exams forcing them to take Math 90 and 95 while the struggle writing essays for their English 101 courses.

Florida has already taken steps in the right direction to improve their welfare system and I believe that the rest of the country should actually FOLLOW this “extreme” change in legislation in order to cut spending that is absolutely unnecessary. It may seem like the most obvious rule, but for some reason this is not a general qualification for the less fortunate perople many other citizens who have figured out life at least enough to have a job where they pay some taxes have to support.”It’s not right for taxpayer money to be paying for somebody’s drug addiction,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said on CNN on Sunday. “On top of that, this is going to increase personal responsibility, personal accountability. We shouldn’t be subsidizing people’s addiction.”

I DOOOO understand that there are certain circumstances that warrant government support so that individuals are able to get back on their feet, but I refuse to continue to pay for people to sit around and feed themselves off their baby’s WIC just because they think that they are too above getting a “dirty job”, but are not qualified enough for a job that meets the level of laziness they hope to maintain or are too stupid to apply for grants and scholarships for college to better their lives. There needs to be a major mentality change from the people, but the government could also give these people the extra motivation they need to actually fill out a job application and stop hustling because they think thats cool or all they know. Then not only will our budget problems be some what improved, but the population will also start to grow in a positive direction instead of continuing to fall behind all other developed countries in the field of beneficial intelligence. Sorry, but this just doesn’t seem like rocket science to me…..just kinda like a good idea.

oh…and the next step that would help reduce our deficit would be to decriminalize and tax medical marijuana. Not only would it bring in revenue but it would improve a bunch of other social issues…just saying.

Posted in Celia, Opinion/Response, Politics | 2 Comments